VIRTUAL - Being Ram Dass - Rameshwar Das, Lex Gillan, and Kate Rodemann

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 6:00pm
United States


Set against a backdrop of nine decades of sweeping cultural change, Being Ram Dass (Sounds True Hardcover, on sale 1.12.2021) shares this modern day luminary’s journey from psychologist to renegade Harvard psychedelics researcher to beloved spiritual icon.

Perhaps no other teacher has sparked the fires of as many spiritual seekers in the West as Ram Dass. If you’ve ever embraced the phrase “be here now,” practiced meditation or yoga, tried psychedelics, or supported anyone in a hospice, prison, or homeless center, then the story of Ram Dass is also part of your story. From his birth in 1931 to his luminous later years, Ram Dass saw his life as just one incarnation of many.

This memoir puts us in the passenger seat with the one time Harvard psychologist and lifelong risk-taker Richard Alpert, who loved to take friends on wild rides on his Harley and test nearly every boundary, inner or outer, that came his way. Here, Ram Dass shares his life’s odyssey in intimate detail: how he struggled with issues of self-identity and sexuality in his youth, pioneered psychedelic research, and opened the doorways to Eastern spiritual practices. In 1967 he trekked to India and met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. He returned as a yogi and psychologist whose perspective changed millions.

Populated by a cast of luminaries ranging from Timothy Leary to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Allen Ginsberg to Sharon Salzberg, Aldous Huxley to Alan Watts―this intimate memoir chronicles Ram Dass’s experience of the cultural and spiritual transformations that resonate with us to this day, a journey from the mind to the heart, from the ego to the soul. Before, after, and along these waypoints, readers will encounter many other adventures and revelations―each ringing with the potential to awaken the universal, loving divine that links this beloved teacher to all of us.

Rameshwar “Ramesh” Das is a writer and photographer who met Ram Dass in 1968. Ramesh has collaborated with Ram Dass on many projects, most recently as coauthor of Be Love Now and Polishing the Mirror.

The Yogi, Lex Gillan, has studied with world-class teachers, including Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Ram Dass, meditation masters Dhiravamsa and Stephen Levine, Father Thomas Keating, Andy Gold, Richard Seager, PhD, and James Ezelle, M.D., since the ’60s and has been a full-time instructor since 1974 when he founded The Yoga Institute in Houston. He has taught more than 40,000 yoga classes, 200 Yoga Teacher Training and National Certification Courses and 300 meditation workshops to more than 100,000 students, and has certified more than 3,000 teachers globally.

Mr. Gillan now teaches—full time—the Yoga Teacher Training and National Certification Course (YogaALLIANCE and National Association of Certified Yoga Teachers approved to the 500 hour level), one of the oldest teacher certification courses in the United States. He is a co-founder and trustee of Rose Mountain Retreat Center in New Mexico and is on the Faculty at the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Mr. Gillan serves on the board of the Margaret Austin Retreat Center (Chappell Hill, TX), as well as serving as an Advisory Director of the Hope and Healing Institute (Houston). He has also served in an advisory role to the YogaALLIANCE board as well as serving on the YA Compliance Committee and the Studio Committee.

Mr. Gillan is degreed from Stephen F. Austin University (Texas) and splits his time between Houston, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Kate Rodemann has worked as an editor at Texas Monthly—where she shepherded the stories of award-winning journalists for 15 years—and Highline, the digital longform site for HuffPost, where she worked on investigative stories that earned national recognition. She  currently devotes her time to helping book authors develop and shape their manuscripts, supporting the clients of content-development agencies (Tangerine Ink, Verto Literary Group) as they see their projects through completion. She lives in Austin and has a heart for ambitious, literary, and deeply reported storytelling.